IMG_1335

While I often update my disclosures page without a whole post about it, this one needs attention called to it. Because, transparency.

Last week, I signed a contract with AstraZeneca Global, to participate in the Global Asthma Patient Partnership Program, after engaging in an initial webinar to get a feel for the experience, and receiving an invitation to join the Program for a year. I will receive financial compensation for my involvement on projects that I can opt-in-and-out of on a project by project basis. The initial webinar was also compensated by AstraZeneca.

I had hesitations. I thought long and hard. I asked questions about the contract. I deliberated alongside others in the same position; others aware of and sharing in the concerns I have about being involved as a patient with a pharmaceutical company. (You can also see this post from 2015 about going on a trip to Denver to learn about a GSK sponsored school asthma program on GSK’s tab, and my thoughts.)

AstraZeneca and its products are no longer a player in my own asthma management (I do have a Turdoza inhaler at home, although that’s a long story and is not actually one of my meds). I switched out Pulmicort for Qvar and then Symbicort for Zenhale close to five years ago. Had I been on AstraZeneca meds, this would actually be much harder, if that even makes sense, as their product(s) would be the ones keeping me healthy.

Do I think I am “partnering” with AstraZeneca? 

No, not exactly—more accurately I’d call it consulting. AstraZeneca can take or leave my feedback. I receive compensation either way. Just like I do and will write honestly, I’ll give them feedback honestly, too. Compensation won’t change that (unlike physician prescribing practices—see: Who Pays For the Pizza). I won’t be switching my meds out anytime soon. It’s likely that I won’t discuss AstraZeneca at all, which has been the case with GSK (considering I even get embargoed press releases since Denver).

Learn more about the AZ Patient Partnership Program by checking out the FAQ

Know that this is a trial run for me, too. I’m still getting a feel for this and how exactly I want to move forward. I can terminate my agreement at any time, but I am hoping that this is a positive experience—while it probably (almost certainly) won’t change how I see pharma, hopefully it changes how AstraZeneca sees asthma patients, which is maybe even more important.

Have questions? I cannot disclose anything discussed in the projects I consult on with AstraZeneca. (Nor, you know, their products/drugs, because I am not a doctor.) Otherwise, please let me know if you have questions or concerns and I will do my absolute best to address them.

Disclosure: As I have signed a contract with AstraZeneca, I provided this post for review by the Patient Engagement Director prior to publication (the only edits requested and made were referring to AstraZeneca by its full name). AstraZeneca did not ask me to write this post (rather, the opposite per the contract, although the Patient Engagement Director was encouraging). Transparency, however, is extremely important to me. I want you to know these things, so that we—as patients—can be more critical. 

IMG_1335

Hello, 2017. Hello, blog. 

I want to blog more this year. And read 50 books and watch 17 movies and write more things and learn Braille and also find more work (yay!). So I don’t know where the time for the blogging will come, but I’d like to post weekly. We’ll see how that goes.

http://i0.wp.com/farm1.staticflickr.com/418/32177559155_8c2c527c4f.jpg?resize=400%2C500&ssl=1January 1. As usual (except because I was sick last year and we delayed New Years Eve partying) I started 2017 at the Epp’s. Trish gave us pie before they went out, which we ate after midnight. We played Say Anything and Cards Against Humanity and Tom and I read parts of books that he got for Christmas. Because we are nerds?
As usual we also went to Jack Pott’s on New Year’s Day. Sadly, Dean won the annual air hockey game.

http://i2.wp.com/farm1.staticflickr.com/540/32139204026_a37862ef9b.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

January 2. My mom and I went to bingo but apparently Share the Wealth bingo is weird. Anyways, we played penny slots after so of course I spent some quality time with Groovy Louie. I only ended up spending $19 of the $25 I put in so I consider that a win for like an hour and a half of entertainment.

http://i2.wp.com/farm1.staticflickr.com/780/31336101494_d24bec638b.jpg?resize=500%2C375&ssl=1

January 3. Well, that’s a good mail day (after a fun day with Dean and Jackie at Kawaii Crepe and wandering the Village.)

http://i2.wp.com/farm1.staticflickr.com/359/32139195136_512d693070.jpg?resize=281%2C500&ssl=1

I got a 3Doodler for Christmas but it jammed and was super terrible to get the maintenance cover back on so I took it back and got a Scribbler.

http://i2.wp.com/farm1.staticflickr.com/734/32139206506_5ab60f4fdd.jpg?resize=500%2C443&ssl=1

http://i1.wp.com/farm1.staticflickr.com/297/32139197846_f61a7a56f6.jpg?resize=281%2C500&ssl=1

So I made Dean and Jackie things. Yay!

http://i0.wp.com/farm1.staticflickr.com/403/32139203306_b9f122327d.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

http://i1.wp.com/farm1.staticflickr.com/395/31802383180_545e5cc607.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

I also got a package from the National Foundation for Transplant regarding Steve’s lung transplant fundraising. (More to come!)

January 4. Dean and Jackie and I went for lunch with my mom, aunt and cousin Alyssa. Dean and Jackie and I went to visit my grandma. Here are pretty trees down her street that Jackie and I stopped to take a picture of.

http://i0.wp.com/farm1.staticflickr.com/683/31335970674_e933d2b0a5.jpg?resize=500%2C375&ssl=1

Then that evening I used my new donut pans from Lindee to make chai donuts. They were delicious.

http://i0.wp.com/farm1.staticflickr.com/755/32029236462_ec6e54f4b0.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

January 5. I did some work (what is work?!) and then went to get Dean’s oil changed with him and Jackie (exciting details, I know). Lindee made dinner including some of the best mac and cheese ever. EVAH.

http://i1.wp.com/farm1.staticflickr.com/769/32029218382_ae9f7a0248.jpg?resize=500%2C375&ssl=1

These darn kids are going back to Minneapolis and I think they should just stay here.

January 6.

http://i2.wp.com/farm1.staticflickr.com/770/32059252411_37750c5e0f.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

After a bunch of really cold days, -16 feels like a heatwave where I just about like, melted in the mall en route to work. I was tempted to take my jacket off but I settled for unzipping it and my hoodie. After work, we went to the light show which, like last year, was rad. 

http://i0.wp.com/farm1.staticflickr.com/724/31335957964_204c698eca.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1
 January 7.

 

First cupcake of 2017 only took 7 days. And it’s basically the prettiest damn cupcake I’ve ever had. And, it was from Save On Foods at that. 
http://i0.wp.com/farm1.staticflickr.com/582/32059094661_86234264fb.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

Miguel also threw a surprise party for my cousin Jenn’s birthday tonight, and while I was too busy eating that cake (Jeanne cake = best), but the cupcake really symbolizes that pretty well, too.

See ya next week! (Maybe even tomorrow, but… maybe.)

IMG_1335

Today is Wordless Wednesday except with words. So it’s just Wednesday, really.

http://i0.wp.com/farm6.staticflickr.com/5549/30276332116_b311807f39.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

12:## am | kitchen. Bedtime snack pumpkin pie, BOOM.

http://i0.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8138/29680828963_f086e713ec.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

12:## am | kitchen. WTF, Winnipeg. It’s October 12th. Snow is not okay.

http://i2.wp.com/farm6.staticflickr.com/5760/30195822822_a2382b1244.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

11:22 am | kitchen. I swear I do leave my kitchen. It’s #LDchat time, like it is every (or most, for me) Wednesdays!

http://i0.wp.com/farm8.staticflickr.com/7770/29681151984_5ba899454c.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

##:## pm | bus stop. I wrote half a blog post while I sat here because I got to the bus stop 11 minutes early. Also the snow went away and there is still a flower at the bus stop.

http://i2.wp.com/farm6.staticflickr.com/5551/29680830043_33f161d49f.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

##:## pm | mall. I found all the sweary colouring books and sent this picture to Tara. Then she bought a sweary colouring book (which kind of surprised me, actually!)

http://i1.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8273/30195816342_8896c7c645.jpg?resize=500%2C375&ssl=1

##:## pm | my office. It’s still weird typing my office. Anyways, I’m super into both Command hooks and what the Internet calls office hacks now. So I put three more command hooks onto the wall—two are pictured here so my writing junk and dry erase junk doesn’t actually take up room on my desk.

http://i2.wp.com/farm6.staticflickr.com/5744/29680823703_dd8609cd1d.jpg?resize=500%2C375&ssl=1

##:## pm | car. Driving to IKEA. The camera never captures the pretty sky…

http://i0.wp.com/farm6.staticflickr.com/5708/29681151184_351901613c.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

##:## pm | IKEA. Uh oh, the LAPTOP (which has a LAPTOP label on the other side) is BROKEN.

http://i2.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8274/29681153064_d9a7facc69.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

##:## pm | closet. Trying to get paper plates for a craft for work… WHY the eff is there so much carbonated beverage in my house?

http://i1.wp.com/farm6.staticflickr.com/5778/30195821362_202ea796bb.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

##:## pm | my office. Refreshing my memory (aka re-learning all over again) about energy systems, adenosine triphosphate and lactic acid for a blog post.

http://i1.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8601/30014608720_4818ebe19c.jpg?resize=281%2C500&ssl=1

11:16 pm | my office. I plank in my office because I have foamy tiles there and it’s nice. The app said it was a day off today, so I just held the plank as long as i could moderately comfortably. To think I started at 55 seconds 13 days ago. (Don’t tell me about why rest days are important or whatever, kay? I have a kinesiology degree but it’s called a plank challenge for a reason.)

http://i2.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8408/30195813052_a531b92ff2.jpg?resize=375%2C500&ssl=1

11:28 pm | kitchen. Actually heading to bed before midnight because I’m going to a thing about budgeting in the morning (who am I?). My dad always leaves coffee cups and stuff here under the microwave. To like, reuse in the morning (or, if my mom is away, all weekend). It’s not like we don’t have a dishwasher he could put it in.

PS. I did the 3 minute Mindful vs. Mindless bitesize meditation after this. Yay.

Neurodiversity Tree, inspired by my new blog layout for ADHD/LD Awareness Month

Sticking with the blog theme, here’s a tree I made today on Procreate for iPad.

Day 1 Challenge Update:
Plank:
 55 seconds. I could have held longer but my app counts down, not up. I’m going to use the “rest” days in the 30days app to instead see how long I can hold the plank.

Meditation: I don’t know if it counts for my yesterday meditation or my today meditation but at like midnight I did the Exploring the Breath meditation from Smiling Mind. 

Most people that know me are aware that three (and a half) years ago I was diagnosed with ADHD and learning issues primarily affecting my visual memory and processing speed. Since then, I’ve tried to engage with as many other adults with learning and attention issues as I can. For girls especially, it’s common that ADHD especially is missed, since we present differently than boys—more often we have the inattentive subtype, so we are less noticeably hyperactive!

October is ADHD and Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. You may also notice that things look a bit different around Kerri on the Prairies in celebration of neurodiversity—which is just the cool way of saying that everybody’s brain is different, whether you have ADHD, learning issues or autism… and that it’s okay to not be “neurotypical”! 

But hold up, that’s not all! A guy named Jesse d’Eça from Quebec is taking ADHD Awareness month one step further, and he and the Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC – don’t get thrown off, they probably existed before all ADD became ADHD) have come together to get Canadians doing things to raise awareness of what ADHD really looks like. Challenges can be whatever you dream up: CADDAC recommends: a) Something physical—like exercise, daily b) Something cerebral—like meditation or mindfulness practice for a predetermined amount of time once or twice per day, or c) something educational, like reading or writing.

Here’s my challenge:

Planking. Opting to follow Jesse’s lead, I’m going to be trying a plank challenge for October—the app I did the initial test on today (where I made it 55 seconds… just couldn’t make a minute!) claims I’ll be able to sustain a plank for 3 minutes and 25 seconds (or 205 seconds) by the end of the month. While I understand the whole rest day thing, I’m going to try to skip the ones the app requires taking because part of the whole challenge thing is to do something every day! Unless I like, injure myself.

Blogging. Hi there, people reading my blog. I’ll be here every day in October blogging for ADHD/LD awareness month. I even have a plan for this! Some days will be longer posts, some will just be pictures, but hopefully everything will share a bit of my story of living with ADHD.
I mean, look, random t-rex pictures? Yeah, that explains my ADHD life pretty well, right? 😉

Okay and you know what, since we’ve got column A – something physical and column C – something educational(ish) covered, let’s set the bar high.

Meditation. I meditate using the Smiling Mind app. The fact that they are led by an Australian dude does not hurt the app one bit. It’s something I’ve been trying to get into a habit about, so… Let’s do this. (I’ll give myself bonus points if I can manage to get in all 42 of the remaining meditations in the Adult track ;).)

Want to support the challenges I’ve set up, and support the Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada?
The site is quite non-intuitive, so you’ll have to go here, select your donation amount, and then search my name (Hi, I’m Kerri MacKay if we’ve never met and you’d like to donate money. Thanks! How are you?). Want to do something yourself? Register your challenge here.

And as always, have questions for me about my ADHD, the challenge, or about anything else? Drop me a comment or e-mail me at KerriOnThePrairies [at] gmail.com.